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TOPIC: IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest

IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 28 Feb 2015 04:17 #60592

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(sorry for bad english)
Thanks to all the experts who are helping people like me

im using imac and Fcp from past 6 months, i completely learned fcp through internet with so many peoples help,
i edit marriage videos which they have nearly 1000 clips per marriage i edit them and copy to dvd through external dvd drives, now im using IMAC 27 inch late 2013 (model:ME088) , beside that i want to buy new mac which is completely for Final Cut pro X use only,
and i reasearched through internet about Imac and Mac pro and surprisingly i found Imac and mac pro doesnt has big difference in Fcp work but Mac pro is nearly cost two Imac's cost , but i cant understand why such a priced and normally called as work station(Mac pro) doesnt have a big difference with Imac
Can u please suggest me which one is better for my needs (imac or mac pro)

THANK YOU

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 28 Feb 2015 10:33 #60596

  • Paul Cryer
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You'll also have to buy monitors for the MacPro as well, which will increase the cost even more.

This is a question that in 12 months time I'll be asking myself, so I'm interested in the answers. If I was buying now, with my editing being weddings, web video for corporate, conferences and events, I'd buy the 5K iMac. Mainly as from the things I've read the difference in how both run isn't enough to justify the bigger cost difference for me. The big advantage of the MacPro is more customisation options.

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 28 Feb 2015 15:05 #60600

  • Wildgiles
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Go for the iMac for marriage videos and the like, unless you think your clients would give you more money because you are using a mac pro.

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 28 Feb 2015 20:37 #60604

  • Redifer
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I have a Mac Pro and I'm really not as impressed with it as I'd hoped to be. I have 64GB of RAM in it and FCPX is often extremely slow and laggy. It's not much better than it is on my Mac Pro 1,1 from 2006 and only 16GB of RAM. If I put more than one filter on a clip (depending on the filter) real time playback slows down to about 1 frame every 2 seconds or so. Magic Bullet's newest version of Mojo is the worst offender. It's really bad. Never go for Apple's higher-end stuff. It's not worth the extra money.

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 28 Feb 2015 23:04 #60610

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Redifer wrote: I have a Mac Pro and I'm really not as impressed with it as I'd hoped to be. I have 64GB of RAM in it and FCPX is often extremely slow and laggy. It's not much better than it is on my Mac Pro 1,1 from 2006 and only 16GB of RAM. If I put more than one filter on a clip (depending on the filter) real time playback slows down to about 1 frame every 2 seconds or so. Magic Bullet's newest version of Mojo is the worst offender. It's really bad. Never go for Apple's higher-end stuff. It's not worth the extra money.


Wait, you have the tube? Are you on the latest versions of OSX and FCPX?

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 28 Feb 2015 23:20 #60611

  • Redifer
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I always jokingly call it the "trash can" but yeah. If OS X 10.10.2 and FCPX 10.1.4 are the latest versions, yep I have ;em.

What I DO like, however, is FCPX's transcoding speed. This is unparallelled on this machine. It even beats Compressor. If I drag and drop an MP4 into FCPX it transcodes to ProRes422HQ FAAAST. I drop that same file into Compressor and convert to ProRes422HQ (not changing frame rates or resizing) it takes like 6 times as long, maybe more. So there is give and take. But the lagginess of FCPX in general has been a big disappointment to me on this machine.

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 28 Feb 2015 23:31 #60613

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fb_100001184235824 wrote: ...im using IMAC 27 inch late 2013...i want to buy new mac which is completely for Final Cut pro X use only...reasearched through internet...surprisingly i found Imac and mac pro doesnt has big difference in Fcp work but Mac pro is nearly cost two Imac's cost...why a..work station(Mac pro) doesnt have a big difference with Imac...


You have well described the dilemma which exists between certain configurations of Mac Pro and top-end iMac. Here are several points to consider:

(1) The Mac Pro is available with much faster GPU performance. IF the app takes advantage of that, and IF the iMac workflow is GPU-bound, the Mac Pro would be faster. I'm not sure if common FCP X tasks do that yet.

(2) The Mac Pro has good thermal design and can sustain high duty cycle CPU & GPU operations while staying relatively quiet. That said most people doing professional editing on an iMac don't have problems with this. There are reports the Retina iMac with upgraded M295X GPU runs hotter hence fan spins louder under heavy load vs the non-Retina version, but I don't think anyone has objectively measured this on a calibrated FCP X workflow.

(3) The iMac uses Intel Core CPUs which have Quick Sync, essentially an on-chip hardware transcoder. For the narrow case of single-pass export to H.264 the iMac is much faster than a Mac Pro. The opposing view is that's a "one trick pony" which vanishes when using other export options such as ProRes.

The fact that Mac Pros don't have Quick Sync is beyond Apple's control. It was a decision by Intel to not include that on Xeon. This was a technical issue because Quick Sync requires the on-chip GPU (even if the machine has a discrete GPU). Putting an integrated GPU in Xeon would waste millions of transistors better needed for typical server features.

(4) FCP X workloads tend to be very CPU-bound and are multithreaded. Hence the more cores the better. An 8-core or higher Mac Pro is probably faster on some common FCP X tasks than a top-spec Mac Pro. The opposing view is you must have 8 or more cores to really see that difference, which makes the price differential between Mac Pro and iMac even greater.

(5) Mac Pro CPUs can be upgraded in the field, although not with Apple's blessing. See eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/MacPro20...r/Apple_Mac_Pro_2013

(6) You must consider what a given budget will purchase -- beyond the computer. Video editing takes a lot of disk space, and it must be backed up. Would it be better to have a top-spec Retina iMac connected to a top-quality Thunderbolt RAID array with separate Thunderbolt backup, or a 4-6 core Mac Pro with a cheap external drive and cheap USB backup?

In general the top-spec iMac is a good video editing platform. However if money was not a factor I'd have an 8-12 core Mac Pro.

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 01 Mar 2015 02:05 #60621

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I have a late 2013 Mac Pro "tube", 32GB RAM, and the dual D700 GPUs, 27" T'bolt display, running my Libraries and media off of a P2 16TB RAID 5. I get fantastic performance, no lagging at all, blows away anything else I've used.

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 02 Mar 2015 17:46 #60716

  • VidGreg
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BareFeats has done some good performance comparisons between the iMacs and MP in lots of configurations.
barefeats.com
Hope this helps, Greg

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 03 Mar 2015 01:06 #60735

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I'd suggest going with the 5K iMac and putting some good money in an external RAID system to ensure solid data speeds for read/write. I've been using the 27" non Retina and now the Retina 5K with a Pegasus II 8TB Thunderbolt system. Both systems had 32 Gig RAM. I'm blown away at how fast and stable they are. The external drive is an important part of the overall performance that is often overlooked. Good luck!

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 05 Mar 2015 06:59 #60873

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Thank you very much for the detailed explanation
finally decided to buy non 5K version with
27inch
3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 Processor
1tb Hard drive
24Gb Ram
2gb Graphic card

THANKS EVERY ONE FOR THE REPLIES

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 05 Mar 2015 19:45 #60914

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If your tube with 64GB is not much better than a Mac Pro 1,1 with 16 GB... then really there's something wrong. I think Red Giant recently upgraded some of their notoriously slow plugins to improve performance, but they are still far from real-time. I would avoid them if you want better timeline performance.

Anyway, 5K imac is a great machine, but personally I would go for the 4GB graphic card (the 295x). Pushing that 5K is hard work.

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IMAC(5K) or MAC PRO? please suggest 05 Mar 2015 21:02 #60915

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fb_100001184235824 wrote: Thank you very much for the detailed explanation
finally decided to buy non 5K version with
27inch
3.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 Processor
1tb Hard drive
24Gb Ram
2gb Graphic card
...


I know you aren't planning on a Retina iMac, and it seems like people always suggest "get the faster machine". However here is a good video evaluating the performance of FCP X on a Mac Pro vs Retina iMac. He suggests the i7 and M295X CPU:



If you want the configuration you stated, at a minimum I'd recommend the 1TB Fusion Drive over the regular HDD.

I have tested FCP X export to H.264 with i7 hyperthreading on and off. It made about a 30% difference. Changing this requires the CPUSetter utility (use at your own risk): www.whatroute.net/cpusetter.html This was on a 2013 iMac 27, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 32GB, GTX-780m.

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Last edit: by joema.
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